In the second ever Reader Issue of the magazine, we turn the tables to make you the stars. In the same week many of us head to Olympia to watch best world’s best riders do battle — look out for fantastic analysis and photographs next week — it is humbling to be reminded what incredible grit and heroism regular riders demonstrate, too.
The stories in this issue may not be televised or rewarded with medals, but they deserve to be. It is sobering, inspiring and gripping to read some of the difficulties you have overcome, odds you have beaten and illnesses you have survived.
From the story of a lady who decided to become a working pupil in her mid-30s, owners who nurtured frail foals to health and showring success, to riders who have fought back into the saddle after suffering horrendous injuries, this issue is unputdownable.
THIS week also marks the retirement of the great Mistral Hojris (aka Alf) at Olympia. He’s adored by the British dressage public and equestrian magazines in particular. Besides having fabulous colouring and a similarly stunning rider, he pricks his ears and oozes intelligence every time a camera focuses on him.
And then there are the medals he won! A strong, strapping animal, he has always been an exciting horse to watch, particularly in his younger days — you never quite knew how well Laura Tomlinson would be able to anchor his power and enthusiasm. Alf, may you have a long and happy retirement. It has been such a pleasure watching and reporting on your career.